Vogts and The Eagles

Obafemi Martins

This weekend brings the Premier League break so players can return to their respective countries for international duties. So what we have will be a string of Euro 2008 qualifiers and international friendlies. Normally I would be writing about England’s forthcoming match against Estonia but thinking about it depressed me after realizing that McClown is running the show and he is still a player-pleasing-clueless FUCK!!! So I turn my attention to writing about my favourite team….The Super Eagles.

Granted I have not written much about the Nigerian National side, and that will change, I’ve merely been sitting back and watching the workings of the new coach Berti Vogts. His appointment was a shock to me; I tried tirelessly to figure out how the buffoons running the Nigerian Football Association (NFA) could prize away such a football legend away from other clubs/national teams. Do not get me wrong I loved the idea of having Berti Vogts as the Super Eagles National head coach (he bring huge benefits which I’ll look at later) but we are talking about the NFA here, an organization rife with corruption and political in-fighting.

As I mentioned before, the hiring of Mr. Vogts brings huge benefits, one of which instant respect from the players. Past coaches have had troubles controlling the Super Eagles players and to some extent some players were arrogantly making demands to the coaching staff. None of that will fly with Vogts, the man is a legend and when he speaks the players will listen…he can even drop big name starts without reprieve easily. Another benefit of Vogts is that he knows fully well the politics of football and how to handle them. From demanding a 3-month advance salary before taking the helm to picking his own coaching staff (even after the NFA had appointed him one) Vogts has shown to the NFA he is no push over and the running of the national side will be done how he sees fit. He even has strayed away from only picking big name players and has gravitated towards little known Nigerian players, some with dual nationality, as he seeks to build a team with the European Football philosophy of keeping the game direct and simple…something the NFA would have cried bloody murder in years past.

While I like all the moves Berti Vogtz has made they still need to be backed up on the pitch if he wishes to remain head coach. Guiding the Super Eagles to finishing top in her 2008 African National Cup qualifying group is a good start (W5-D0-L1) but honestly it was a weak group. The true test of Mr. Vogts philopshy will come with the string of friendlies which start this weekend against Mexico and then Jamaica. I’m eager to put our disappointments of past years (a la losing our World Cup qualification to Angola….ANGOLA!!!!) and start looking forward to greener pastures, COME ON SUPER EAGLES!!!!


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